[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 114 (Thursday, June 13, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35613-35617]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14069]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Information To 
Be Verified for the 2014-2015 Award Year

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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[CFDA Nos. 84.007, 84.033, 84.038, 84.063, and 84.268]

SUMMARY: For each award year, the Secretary publishes in the Federal 
Register a notice announcing the FAFSA information that an institution 
and an applicant may be required to verify. The notice also specifies 
what documentation is acceptable for verifying FAFSA information.
    For the 2014-2015 award year, the Secretary announces, through this 
notice, the FAFSA information subject to, and the documentation 
acceptable for, verification.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacquelyn C. Butler, U.S. Department 
of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, 1990 K Street NW., 
room 8053, Washington, DC 20006. Telephone: (202) 502-7890.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an 
accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact 
disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following chart lists, for the 2014-2015 
award year, the FAFSA information that an institution and an applicant 
and, if appropriate, the applicant's parent(s) or spouse, may be 
required to verify under 34 CFR 668.56. The chart also lists the 
acceptable documentation that must be provided under Sec.  668.57 to an 
institution for that information to be

[[Page 35614]]

verified. The Secretary will include on the applicant's Institutional 
Student Information Record (ISIR) flags that will indicate which FAFSA 
information needs to be verified for that applicant and, if 
appropriate, the applicant's parent(s) or spouse. The Student Aid 
Report (SAR) provided to the applicant will indicate that the 
applicant's FAFSA information has been selected for verification and 
direct the applicant to the institution for further instructions for 
completing the verification process.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      FAFSA information                 Acceptable documentation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income information for tax     For income information listed under items
 filers 1 3.                    a through g for tax filers--
a. Adjusted Gross Income          1) Tax year 2013 information that the
 (AGI).                            Secretary has identified as having
b. U.S. Income Tax Paid......      been obtained from the Internal
c. Untaxed Portions of IRA         Revenue Service (IRS) through the IRS
 Distributions.                    Data Retrieval Tool \2\ and that has
d. Untaxed Portions of             not been changed after the
 Pensions.                         information was obtained from the
e. IRA Deductions and              IRS; or
 Payments.                     2) A transcript \2\ obtained from the IRS
f. Tax Exempt Interest Income   that lists tax account information of
g. Education Credits.........   the tax filer for tax year 2013.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(a)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
h. Other Untaxed Income......  For tax filers required to verify other
                                untaxed income, a statement signed by
                                the applicant and, if the applicant is a
                                dependent student, by one of the
                                applicant's parents, that lists--
                                  1) The sources of other untaxed income
                                   as provided under section 480(b) of
                                   the Higher Education Act of 1965, as
                                   amended (HEA) and the amounts of
                                   income from each source for tax year
                                   2013; and
                                  2) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \4\ for each
                                   source of employment income received
                                   for tax year 2013.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(a)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income information for tax        1) For a student or the parent(s) of a
 filers with special               dependent student who filed a 2013
 circumstances 1 3.                joint income tax return and whose
a. Adjusted Gross Income           income is used in the calculation of
 (AGI).                            the applicant's expected family
b. U.S. Income Tax Paid......      contribution, who at the time the
c. Untaxed Portions of IRA         FAFSA was completed, was separated,
 Distributions.                    divorced, widowed, or married to
d. Untaxed Portions of             someone other than the individual
 Pensions.                         included on the 2013 joint income tax
e. IRA Deductions and              return--
 Payments.                     a) A transcript \2\ obtained from the IRS
f. Tax Exempt Interest Income   that lists tax account information of
g. Education Credits.........   the tax filer(s) for tax year 2013; and
                               b) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \4\ for each
                                source of employment income received for
                                tax year 2013.
                                  2) For an individual who is required
                                   to file a 2013 IRS income tax return
                                   and has been granted a filing
                                   extension by the IRS--
                                    a) A copy of IRS Form 4868,
                                     ``Application for Automatic
                                     Extension of Time to File U.S.
                                     Individual Income Tax Return,''
                                     that the individual filed with the
                                     IRS for tax year 2013;
                                    b) If applicable, a copy of the
                                     IRS's approval of an extension
                                     beyond the automatic six-month
                                     extension if the individual
                                     requested an additional extension
                                     of the filing time for tax year
                                     2013;
                                    c) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \4\ for
                                     each source of employment income
                                     received for tax year 2013; and
                                    d) If self-employed, a signed
                                     statement certifying the amount of
                                     AGI and U.S. income tax paid for
                                     tax year 2013.
                               Note: An institution may require that an
                                individual granted a filing extension
                                submit tax information using the IRS
                                Data Retrieval Tool \2\ or by obtaining
                                a transcript \2\ from the IRS that lists
                                tax account information for tax year
                                2013, after the income tax return is
                                filed. When an institution receives such
                                information, it must reverify the FAFSA
                                information.
h. Other Untaxed Income......     3) For tax filers with special
                                   circumstances who are required to
                                   verify other untaxed income, a
                                   statement signed by the applicant
                                   and, if the applicant is a dependent
                                   student, by one of the applicant's
                                   parents, that lists the sources of
                                   other untaxed income as provided
                                   under section 480(b) of the HEA and
                                   the amounts of income from each
                                   source for tax year 2013.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(a)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income information for nontax  For an individual who has not filed and,
 filers.                        under IRS rules or other applicable
a. Income earned from work...   government agency rules, is not required
b. Other Untaxed Income......   to file a 2013 income tax return--
                               1) A signed statement certifying--
                                    a) That the individual has not filed
                                     and is not required to file an
                                     income tax return for tax year
                                     2013;
                                    b) The sources of income earned from
                                     work and amounts of income from
                                     each source for tax year 2013; and
                                    c) For nontax filers required to
                                     verify other untaxed income, the
                                     source of income as provided under
                                     section 480(b) of the HEA and the
                                     amounts of income from each source
                                     for tax year 2013; and
                                  2) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \4\ for each
                                   source of employment income received
                                   for tax year 2013; or
                                  3) If an institution has reason to
                                   believe that the signed statement
                                   provided by the applicant regarding
                                   whether that applicant has not filed
                                   and is not required to file a 2013
                                   income tax return is inaccurate, the
                                   institution may request that the
                                   applicant obtain confirmation from
                                   the IRS.

[[Page 35615]]

 
                               (34 CFR 668.57(a)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Number of Household   A statement signed by the applicant and,
 Members.                       if the applicant is a dependent student,
                                by one of the applicant's parents, that
                                lists the name and age of each household
                                member and the relationship of that
                                household member to the applicant.
                               Note: Verification of number of household
                                members is not required if:
                                   For a dependent student, the
                                   household size reported on the FAFSA
                                   is two and the parent is single,
                                   separated, divorced, or widowed; or
                                   the household size reported is three
                                   if the parents are married or
                                   unmarried and living together; or
                                   For an independent student,
                                   the household size reported on the
                                   FAFSA is one and the applicant is
                                   single, separated, divorced, or
                                   widowed; or the household size
                                   reported is two if the applicant is
                                   married.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(b)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Number in College...  1) A statement signed by the applicant
                                and, if the applicant is a dependent
                                student, by one of the applicant's
                                parents, listing the name and age of
                                each household member who is or will be
                                attending an eligible postsecondary
                                educational institution as at least a
                                half-time student in the 2014-2015 award
                                year and the name of that educational
                                institution.
                               2) If an institution has reason to
                                believe that the signed statement
                                provided by the applicant regarding the
                                number of household members enrolled in
                                eligible postsecondary institutions is
                                inaccurate, the institution must obtain
                                a statement from each institution named
                                by the applicant that the household
                                member in question is, or will be,
                                attending on at least a half-time basis
                                unless--
                                  a) The institution the applicant is
                                   attending determines that such a
                                   statement is not available because
                                   the household member in question has
                                   not yet registered at the institution
                                   he or she plans to attend; or
                                  b) The institution has information
                                   indicating that the household member
                                   in question will be attending the
                                   same institution as the applicant.
                               Note: Verification of the number of
                                household members in college is not
                                required if the number in college
                                indicated on the ISIR is `1'.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(c)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Supplemental          1) A statement signed by the applicant
 Nutrition Assistance Program   or, if the applicant is a dependent
 (SNAP-Food Stamps).            student, by one of the applicant's
                                parents, affirming that SNAP-Food Stamps
                                benefits were received by someone in the
                                household during the 2012 and/or 2013
                                calendar years.
                               2) If an institution has reason to
                                believe that the signed statement
                                provided by the applicant regarding the
                                receipt of SNAP-Food Stamps benefits is
                                inaccurate, the applicant must provide
                                the institution with documentation from
                                the agency that issued the SNAP-Food
                                Stamps benefits.
                               Note: Verification of the receipt of SNAP-
                                Food Stamps benefits is not required if
                                the receipt of SNAP benefits is not
                                indicated on the applicant's ISIR.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(d)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Child Support Paid..  1) A statement signed by the applicant or
                                parent, as appropriate, certifying--
                                  a) The amount of child support paid;
                                  b) The name of the person who paid the
                                   child support;
                                  c) The name of the person to whom
                                   child support was paid; and
                                  d) The names of the children for whom
                                   child support was paid.
                               2) If the institution has reason to
                                believe that the information provided in
                                the signed statement is inaccurate, the
                                institution must obtain documentation,
                                such as--
                                  a) A copy of the separation agreement
                                   or divorce decree that shows the
                                   amount of child support to be
                                   provided;
                                  b) A statement from the individual
                                   receiving the child support showing
                                   the amount provided; or
                                  c) Documentation that the child
                                   support payments were made (e.g.,
                                   copies of the child support checks,
                                   money order receipts, or similar
                                   records of electronic payments having
                                   been made).
                               Note: Verification of child support paid
                                is not required if child support paid is
                                not indicated on the applicant's ISIR.
                               (34 CFR 668.57(d)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 High School           1) High School Diploma
 Completion Status.
                                  a) A copy of the applicant's high
                                   school diploma;
                                  b) A copy of the applicant's final
                                   official high school transcript that
                                   shows the date when the diploma was
                                   awarded; or
                                  c) A copy of the ``secondary school
                                   leaving certificate'' (or other
                                   similar document) for students who
                                   completed secondary education in a
                                   foreign country and are unable to
                                   obtain a copy of their high school
                                   diploma or transcript.
                               Note: Institutions that have the
                                expertise may evaluate foreign secondary
                                school credentials to determine their
                                equivalence to U.S. high school
                                diplomas. Institutions may also use the
                                services of a foreign diploma evaluation
                                service.
                               2) Recognized Equivalent of a High School
                                Diploma
                                  a) General Educational Development
                                   (GED) Certificate or GED transcript;

[[Page 35616]]

 
                                  b) A State certificate received by a
                                   student after the student has passed
                                   a State-authorized examination that
                                   the State recognizes as the
                                   equivalent of a high school diploma;
                                  c) An academic transcript that
                                   indicates the student successfully
                                   completed at least a two-year program
                                   that is acceptable for full credit
                                   toward a bachelor's degree at any
                                   participating institution; or
                                  d) For a person who is seeking
                                   enrollment in an educational program
                                   that leads to at least an associate
                                   degree or its equivalent and has not
                                   completed high school but has
                                   excelled academically in high school,
                                   documentation from the high school
                                   that the student excelled
                                   academically in high school and
                                   documentation from the postsecondary
                                   institution that the student has met
                                   the formalized, written policies of
                                   the postsecondary institution for
                                   admitting such students.
                               3) Homeschool
                                  a) If the State where the student was
                                   homeschooled requires by law that
                                   such students obtain a secondary
                                   school completion credential for
                                   homeschool (other than a high school
                                   diploma or its recognized
                                   equivalent), a copy of that
                                   credential.
                                  b) If State law does not require a
                                   homeschooled student to obtain a
                                   secondary school completion
                                   credential for homeschool (other than
                                   a high school diploma or its
                                   recognized equivalent), a transcript
                                   or the equivalent, signed by the
                                   student's parent or guardian, that
                                   lists the secondary school courses
                                   the student completed and documents
                                   the successful completion of a
                                   secondary school education in a
                                   homeschool setting.
                               Note: In cases where documentation of an
                                applicant's completion of a secondary
                                school education is unavailable, e.g.,
                                the secondary school is closed and
                                information is not available from
                                another source such as the local school
                                district or a State Department of
                                Education, or in the case of
                                homeschooling, the parent(s)/guardian(s)
                                who provided the homeschooling is
                                deceased, an institution may accept
                                alternative documentation to verify the
                                applicant's high school completion
                                status.
                               When documenting an applicant's high
                                school completion status, an institution
                                may rely on documentation it has already
                                collected for purposes other than the
                                Title IV verification requirements, if
                                the documentation meets the criteria
                                outlined above.
                               (34 CFR 600.2, 668.32(e)(1) and (e)(4)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Identity/Statement    1) An applicant must appear in person and
 of Educational Purpose.        present the following documentation to
                                an institutionally authorized individual
                                to verify the applicant's identity:
                                  a) A valid government-issued photo
                                   identification such as, but not
                                   limited to, a driver's license, non-
                                   driver's identification card, other
                                   State-issued identification, or
                                   passport; and
                                  b) A signed statement using the exact
                                   language as follows, except that the
                                   student's identification number is
                                   optional if collected elsewhere on
                                   the same page as the statement:
 
                                    Statement of Educational Purpose
 
                               I certify that I ------------------------
                                am
                                (Print Student's Name)
                               the individual signing this Statement of
                                Educational Purpose and that the Federal
                                student financial assistance I may
                                receive will be used only for
                                educational purposes and to pay the cost
                                of attending ------------------------
                                for 2014-2015.
                               (Name of Postsecondary Educational
                                Institution)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               (Student's Signature)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               (Date)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               (Student's ID Number)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               2) For an applicant who appears in
                                person, an institution must maintain an
                                annotated copy of the valid government-
                                issued photo identification that
                                includes--
                                  a) The date the identification was
                                   received; and
                                  b) The name of the institutionally
                                   authorized individual who received
                                   the identification.
                               3) If an institution determines that an
                                applicant is unable to appear in person,
                                he or she must provide the institution
                                with--
                                  a) A copy of a valid government-issued
                                   photo identification such as, but not
                                   limited to, a driver's license, non-
                                   driver's identification card, other
                                   State-issued identification, or
                                   passport that is acknowledged in the
                                   notary statement; and
                                  b) An original notarized statement
                                   signed by the applicant using the
                                   exact language as follows, except
                                   that the student's identification
                                   number is optional if collected
                                   elsewhere on the same page as the
                                   statement:
 
                                    Statement of Educational Purpose
 
                               I certify that I ------------------------
                                am
                                (Print Student's Name)
                               the individual signing this Statement of
                                Educational Purpose and that the Federal
                                student financial assistance I may
                                receive will only be used for
                                educational purposes and to pay the cost
                                of attending ------------------------
                                for 2014-2015.
                               (Name of Postsecondary Educational
                                Institution)
                              ------------------------------------------
 

[[Page 35617]]

 
                               (Student's Signature)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               (Date)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               (Student's ID Number)
                              ------------------------------------------
 
                               (34 CFR 668.57(d)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ A tax filer who filed an income tax return other than an IRS form,
  such as a foreign or Puerto Rican tax form, must use the income
  information (converted to U.S. dollars) from the lines of that form
  that correspond most closely to the income information reported on a
  U.S. income tax return.
\2\ An institution may accept a copy of a 2013 income tax return for tax
  filers who are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain an
  IRS Tax Return Transcript consistent with guidance that the Secretary
  may provide (e.g., victims of identity theft, individuals who filed an
  amended tax return, individuals who filed an income tax return other
  than an IRS form or individuals with authentication issues with the
  IRS). The copy must include the signature of the tax filer or of one
  of the filers of a joint income tax return or the signed, stamped,
  typed, or printed name and address of the preparer of the income tax
  return and the preparer's Social Security Number, Employer
  Identification Number, or Preparer Tax Identification Number.
\3\ If a tax filer did not retain a copy of his or her 2013 tax account
  information and that information cannot be located by the IRS or a
  government of a U.S. territory or commonwealth or a foreign central
  government, the institution must accept--
a) A copy of IRS Form W-2 (see footnote 4), for each source of
  employment income received for tax year 2013 and, if self-employed, a
  signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and taxes paid for that
  self-employment for tax year 2013; or
b) A copy of a wage and tax statement or a signed statement by an
  individual who has filed an income tax return with a government of a
  U.S. territory or commonwealth or a foreign central government
  certifying the amount of AGI and taxes paid for tax year 2013.
\4\ If an individual who is required to submit an IRS Form W-2 is unable
  to obtain one in a timely manner, the institution may permit that
  individual to provide a signed statement, in accordance with 34 CFR
  668.57(a)(6), that includes--
a) The amount of income earned from work;
b) The source of that income; and
c) The reason why the IRS Form W-2 is not available in a timely manner.

Other Sources for Detailed Information

    We provide a more detailed discussion on the verification process 
in the following resources:
     2014-2015 Application and Verification Guide.
     2014-2015 ISIR Guide.
     2014-2015 SAR Comment Codes and Text.
     2014-2015 COD Technical Reference.
     Program Integrity Information--Questions and Answers on 
Verification at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2009/verification.html.
    These publications are on the Information for Financial Aid 
Professionals Web site at www.ifap.ed.gov.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a, 1070a-1, 1070b-1070b-4, 
1070c-1070c-4, 1070g, 1071-1087-2, 1087a-1087j, and 1087aa-1087ii; 
42 U.S.C. 2751-2756b.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated 
authority to Brenda Dann-Messier, Assistant Secretary for Vocational 
and Adult Education, to perform the functions and duties of the 
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: June 7, 2013.
Brenda Dann-Messier,
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, delegated the 
authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant 
Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2013-14069 Filed 6-12-13; 8:45 am]
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